Monday, December 26, 2011

Florida-ST Augustine

          The pictures of the boat parade. It was a very cold and windy night, but there were still 100' and 100' of viewers. We had a great place to watch the parade. We were right aside of the judges stand. After the parade we had a late night smack at the White Lion.
       We had another great campfire with all the volunteers. Dogs on the grill, it doesn't get much better.

       Christmas Eve we attended church service at The Cathedral Basilica of ST Augustine. Its is America's first Parish, founded Sept 8 1565. This is were the first mass was celebrated in America. The area of the first mass and altar is several blocks from were the church was built. It is a beautiful church. See more at  Below is a picture of the manger display

        Christmas day we had dinner outside our RV with fellow volunteers Rodger and Sue. It was a nice 74 degrees.

      We visited a Hydroponic pick your own produce garden. It is located at the ST Johns flea market. According to the folks running it they can grow the same amount of produce on 1/5 the amount of land it usually takes. The strawberries were delicious. We first saw this type of farming at Disney Epcot in the "Lands tour". Disney's supplies some  of the produce they use in their restaurants from their exhibit.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011, the year in review

Linda asked me what I'm doing, I said "nothing", she said "that's what you did all day yesterday", I said "I wasn't finish". Oh well-- that's how the year went.
       Another year coming to an end. The older we are the faster the years go by. We need to slow this down and enjoy everyday. We need to be thankful for each and every day. So remember when you wake up to a cool rainy day, be thankful you woke up. That's enough wisdom for now. On with the review of 2011.
      We started the year with a visit from our son Mark and his wife Tracey for Christmas and New years. It was the first holiday season in 6 years we spent with family. It was wonderful, both Linda and Tracy had colds, and Bob got a very bad cold and had to go to the doctor. He only sat out a day. While they were here we met Bob's Cousin Jane and her husband Nick, who have a winter home in Cocoa.  We spent Jan thru most of Mar in Florida. We reconnected with many friends. We did meet many friends we worked with at Walt Disney World.
     After we took Mark and Tracy to the airport we left the Orlando area. We went to the Thousand Trails Peace River Resort in Zolfo Springs. We pull in and Linda spots friends Tom and Paula who we volunteered with at the Escapees CARE center in Texas the previous year. We spent 2 weeks there visiting the area.
      Next we move to Arcadia for about 3 weeks. We visited  Linda's cousin Carl and his wife Dot. We hadn't seen them for about 10 years and  had a great visit. We toured Mayakka State Park and had a few great hikes and some bike rides. We saw many gators birds and turtles. We went to Punta Gorda and Lake Placid to see all the murals. Next was the Ringling museum, The Edison and Ford estates in Sarasota.  Friends Dave and Liz came for a visit from their winter home in Largo. We visited our long time friends  Diane and her husband Marvin (Linda's girlfriend from elementary school day) in Cape Coral. We met friends Dave and Penne who read our blog and saw they were close by. So we got together for lunch half way between.  I had some great fishing at Toby's RV park in Arcadia. We also had a great private tour of the "Clown Museum" in Lake Placid from Toby the Clown. We toured "Solomons Castle" and saw  the "Lipizzon Stallion" show at their winter training grounds.
      Wow. We need a brake. That was all in about 3 weeks. From Acardia we traveled further south to The Glades RV Park to visit friends Ed and Vivian and new friends Lon and Betty for some fishing at the Big"O', Lake Okeechobee. While here we did a tour of a sugar cane factory  and an orange juice  plant. Next we move to LaBelle where we almost bought a RV lot. While there they were having their "Swamp cabbage" festival. We had a good time with friends Dianne and Marvin from Cape Coral who came to visit.
    While in Arcadia Linda got her new ride, a 2011 HHR. We needed some more economical  transportation to tour around in. We were wearing out our truck. This  proved to be a very good move for us. We already have over 22,000 miles on it.
       We them started to head north. We made planes to meet friends Barry and Donna from Georgia that we volunteered with in Texas.  They live in GA and we met in Tifton   GA. We had dinner and swapped stories of the passed year. That's when we got a call about Linda's brother and Sister in law. They were both in the hospital. The next morning we said good bye to our friends and hit the road for a fast trip back to PA.
    The next six months were very tough for us.  While there we found out Linda had melanoma. Thank God that worked out ok after two operations. The same week we found out about Linda's cancer we also found out Blazer has bone cancer. The same week our sister in law went back into the hospital. A short time later we lost our sister in law after she was making a great recovery. We did get Linda's brother placed in assistance living were he is doing well. Even though this was a very tough time for us, we were grateful we were able to help. We know as time goes on we will look back at this time and be thankful we could help. We had more family time this year with sons and their wives Cy and Dawn, Mark and Tracey and Erik and Lori .We also thank them for all their help and being there when we needed them. We did make some wonderful friends while there, Abbie, Nancy, Teddie, Helen, Ester, Carolin, Char and Don, that all pitched in and helped, many thanks to them also.
       While at the Thousand Trails park in Hershey we had friends Ed and Cathy from Florida pull in aside of us. There are over 300 sites and they pick one aside of us. We weren't there at the time. They called us and said we think we just pulled in aside of you. We later had a great visit, and of course we went out to dinner.  We also got a call from friends Dave and Penne we met in FL this winter. They were in the area, so we got together for dinner. We met them at one of our favorite restaurants, Shady Maple. I'll bet they are still talking about it. They really enjoyed the food. I got Penne to try apple butter and cottage cheese. She really like it.
      September had a bright spot for us, we started our 7th year on the road as modern day Gypsies. We were looking forward to October as we had to be in Fort Lauderdale Fl for a cruise with our son Cyril and his wife Dawn.
     October 1st we hit the road like the devil himself was chasing us.  We didn't slow down till South Carolina. We had a super cruise with our son and his wife for their 20th anniversary. After the cruise we finally had a chance to relax for a few days.
      While resting at the Thousand Trails park in Orlando we did get to go to Walt Disney World two times with friends Jim and Linda who still work there. Then it was off to ST Augustine. We will be  in ST Augustine till the end of the year. You can read more about our passed year in the archives  on the right side of our blog page.
     We tried to limit this year end review, but it did get longer then expected. Even though we had some tough times this year we are thankful for another year. We look at the year, the whole is better then the parts.

We skiped a few things. First we met our friends Ed and Johanne in Orlando in March. Also in Nov we net our friends Barb and Jack in ST Augustine. Sorry if skiped anybody else.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Florida-ST Augustine update and photo's

     Future plans. Leave ST Augustine on the 1st of Jan. Go to Wildwood FL till the 6th. Then to Bushnell FL for a Carriage Rally. Then to the Tampa RV show for a rally till the 15th of Jan. These plans have been made.  We are working on the rest of Jan. Some time soon after that we are heading further south to the Everglades. We are planning several stops along the way.
      As the year comes to an end we are looking back at some of our stats. We have traveled to and spent at least one night in 42 states. Since 2008 we have stayed at 138 different RV parks or overnight stops. About 18 of those stops were in repeat places. We hope to fill in a few of those missing states in 2012.
     Our blog had over 7900 previews or "hits".We made over 290 post to our blog. We enjoy writing about our travels and your comments and email about our post.
      Monday was a beautiful beach day. High near 80 with very light wind. we spent about four hours on the beach. Some of "us" volunteers got to go on a horse and buggy ride through the Winter Wonderland at the Amphitheater. see . It was ok, glad we didn't have to pay for it.
       On Tuesday we went to the Limelight Theatre. We saw a funny play called "Duck Hunter Shoots Angel". We had quite a few good laughs. see  We got in on their special "Terrific Tuesday" which was two tickets for $25. A great deal as senior tickets are usually $22. each. Don't you just hate that word "seniors". Why not "Classic", like a car, or a bottle of wine.  "How about a classic discount? Sounds much better then senior.
       On Wednesday we went to see Luminary Night At The ST Augustine Lighthouse". We got to see the glow of 100's of luminaries. I (Bob) climb to the top of the lighthouse, all 219 steps. What a super view of ST Augustine at night. see  .
          Blazer is having some more problems. He had several bad coughing spells, and coughed up some blood. We took him to a great Vet and he did start him on some different meds. He is also checking with Florida U. oncology department. We will update you. He was very firm in saying he is not ready to be put to sleep. WOW, as long as he remains ok, and himself. He said you will know when. We will keep you posted.
The Lightner Museum.
Sand painting, super detail in colored sand in bottle
Super porcelain items

Tiffany items
The Ballroom

Looking down at was the largest indoor pool, now with the Alcazar Cafe
At pool level

At night
Our ride

Palm trees with Christmas lights, just not right
The light and  luminaries
Looking down inside the lighthouse.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Florida-ST Augustine

     We had our first chimichanga at the Beachcomber in ST Augustine Beach. Wow was it good and big. Linda and I split one. It's  their Tuesday special. We will be back next week. After leaving the restaurant our "low tire pressure warning light" came on. It said our right front tire pressure was down to 19 psi. We kept an eye on it till we got back to our RV. Checked the tire and it was ok. Checked the other tires and saw a screw sticking out of our right back tire sidewall. It was at 19psi. So I filled it to 30psi and headed to the GM dealer since the display gave the warning for the wrong location. Well I knew a hole in the sidewall meant a new tire,ok, but what about the wrong read out on the dash. Well "did you have the tires rotated"?, yes I did. The sensor is in the tire valve. Dummy, I should have know this. So while getting a new tire, oil change, etc, they  reprogrammed the tire sensors.
          The next day we went to the Lightner Museum. What a fantastic museum. For more info see their web site  It is a museum that highlights many items from the splendor of the gilded age. We did get in on the musical demonstration of many of the old musical self play instruments.  Super is all we can say. We did try to have lunch at the Cafe Alcazar, but they were closing in about 5 minutes after we go there. We may try another day, just to say we ate at the famous hotel Alcazar. The cafe is located in what was the largest indoor swimming pool of its time. see We looked it up on and it has an 88% approval rating.
      Friday night a group of us volunteers went to the San Sebastian winery. On Friday and Saturday nights they have entertainment "up on the roof". The roof is the outside third floor on the  roof. They had a great band playing, and of course serve their wine by the glass or bottle. We all had a good time.
   Saturday we went to see "The Grande Illumination Parade". It was a march by reenactors in customs of the British troop and peasants etc. through the streets of St Augustine. Fife and drums and bagpipes(1). see more at It was really nice to see. Then we have a late night dinner/snack at the White Lion. Good food at a reasonable price.
      See Bob and Linda's holiday dance. Click on it and let it play out. It starts like a add for office Max, but let it play.  see here
       Remember this season it is better to give then receive, that's why I'm giving Linda a new fishing rod and reel.